Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Surrounded by Incredible Talent

Recently, I was asked (via Twitter) to reflect of what I like best about my job as a principal of a high school.  My response came like a reflex action – “I am surrounded by the most talented group of students and staff, which in turn, provide me tremendous inspiration and motivation!”

On the last day of school, before our Christmas break, the students’ parliament hosted our annual school talent show.  The students decided to do a parody of Saturday Night Live as their theme  (I have added the two video links related to this show to give you a flavour).

This show, its related videos and live talent was produced  and performed by current students! I am still amazed.

Once again, it reminded me that if we give our students space and permission to be creative and take risks, there is no limits to what they can do.  This talent show is one small example of the immense and varied talent brimming inside our students.
I would like to dedicate this post to all the students at St. Patrick Secondary, who bless me with their inspiring talents and give me the motivation to come to work loving what I do!

J. Bevacqua  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Every tool needs a master craftsperson

Effective teachers transform the lives of learners.  This is a painfully obvious statement.  Many have written about the attributes of an effective teacher and many will continue to weigh in on the discourse. 
Given the recent attention that “21st century learning” and “personalized learning” is receiving in the popular media and the personal excitement that I have felt over the topic, I have been left to wonder……before computers and the internet, effective teachers “personalized” learning for students and were zealously passionate about helping students learn and make meaning of their learning. 
Recently I had my bathroom retiled.  As I watched the master tradesman do his craft, I noticed that, despite his reliance on certain tools, it was his skill and precision that made the project come together!
I am writing this as a reminder to myself: every tool needs an effective and capable user to take full advantage of the wonders of the tool. 
Todays “networked teachers” must take full advantage of the tools of the day – it is our professional obligation to do so.   Effective teachers understand this reality.  More importantly, the effective teacher is rooted in the belief that every child can learn, that they (the teacher) are responsible for igniting their students’ passion for learning and that the healthy relationships they foster matter.  
Figuring it out and invite your comments……